Norwegian tanker adrift in Victoria court

A Norwegian tanker that has landed in a Victoria court for alleged illegal dumping was nabbed by a Transport Canada surveillance flight.

A Norwegian tanker company that has landed in a Victoria court for alleged illegal dumping was nabbed by a Transport Canada surveillance flight.

The M/T Champion, a ship belonging to Champion Tankers A/S out of Bergen, Norway, and an individual named Robert Ruzic face four environmental charges related to illegal dumping at sea.

The case remains adrift, as nobody from the company appeared for a scheduled plea hearing in Victoria provincial court last Thursday. The hearing is held over until Oct. 25.

Ruzic, the ship, Champion Tankers and its parent company, Champion Shipping A/S, face two charges of improper disposal of a substance at sea, and two charges of improper deposit of substances harmful to migratory birds.

Environment Canada, the agency that investigated the case, said in an email to the News that a Transport Canada aircraft on a routine surveillance flight reported that the M/T Champion discharged fish oil into the ocean, about 135 miles west of Vancouver Island on July 30, 2010.

Investigators learned the ship didn’t have a permit to discharge waste in Canadian waters. Environment Canada doesn’t give permits to dump fish oil or waste from fish processing, “as practical opportunities are available to recycle, reuse or treat the waste,” a spokesperson said in the email.

The charges relate to an unspecified volume of fish oil and another “oily substance.” Environment Canada won’t say how much was allegedly dumped, but noted that the federal government has “zero tolerance” for polluting the marine environment.

Transport Canada operates a Dash-8 pollution surveillance aircraft based out of Vancouver for the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP), which is the government’s primary method to monitor illegal offshore dumping.

Transport Canada said the Vancouver-based plane spends about 600 hours per year on patrol, with the majority over the shipping lanes of southern coastal waters.

“With the recent investments in NASP since 2006, the number of mystery spills observed offshore in the commercial shipping lanes and the amount of oiled birds washing ashore has significantly declined,” Transport Canada told the News in an email.

Champion Tankers website said the company has 11 tanker vessels and transports vegetable oils, palm oils, molasses and clean petroleum products.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Unhealthy disagreement sees three First Nations chiefs take government to court

Claim and counter-claim: B.C.’s First Nations health department and administrator end up in court.

Saanich intersections rank as Island’s three worst

Intersection of Admirals Road, McKenzie Avenue, and the Trans-Canada Highway had the most crashes

New tutorial ‘Whales in our Waters’ launched by BC Ferries

A new tutorial has been launched for mariners and the general public about whales in the Salish Sea

Head-on collision on Prospect Lake Road shuts down road

Prospect Lake Road reopened to traffic at approximately 4:15 a.m. Tuesday

Saanich firefighters rescue bear cub stuck up a tree

Family Day was eventful for cub, firefighters

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

Most Read